Hyderabad/ New Delhi: While YSRC president and AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will leave for Delhi on Wednesday morning to attend the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss simultaneous polls on Wednesday, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao decided to send TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao.
TD president and former AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has decided to write to the Prime Minister, asking him not to take a unilateral decision but first consult with constitutional and legal experts. Meanwhile, after skipping the Niti Aayog governing council meeting last week, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday excused herself from Mr Modi’s meeting and asked the Centre to prepare a white paper on the “one nation, one election” issue, instead of doing it “hurriedly”.
It was stated that Mr Chandrasekhar Rao was busy with other engagements. TRS senior leader and former MP B. Vinod Kumar said Mr Rama Rao would attend the meeting.
Mr Modi has invited the chiefs of political parties to attend the meeting to discuss, “one nation, one election” and other issues. Mr Modi had proposed this in his previous term as well, and said simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and assemblies could save the country money and time.
Political parties have expressed mixed opinion on this. In his second term, Mr Modi has taken up the issue again.
TRS backs joint polls, but splits elections
In 2018, the Law Commission asked Chief Ministers to send their views on simultaneous polls. Mr Chandrasekhar Rao wrote to the commission that the TRS was strongly in favour of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and assemblies. He said that the state and district level administrative and security machinery was kept busy in conducting elections twice in a period of five years.
He also said that the imposition of the model code of conduct for a long period was hampering development and welfare activities undertaken by the state government. He said that huge sums belonging to people, parties and candidates were being spent twice in a period of five years.
Later that year, Mr Rao went in for separate polls to the Telangana Assembly. In 2014, simultaneous elections had been for the Lok Sabha and the then undivided AP Assembly. Mr Rao dissolved the Assembly six months early, in September, and ensured that the polls were held separately.
The Lok Sabha and Assembly polls were held together in Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu against, but AP polls simultaneous
Mr Naidu welcomed in April 2017, a proposal of simultaneous polls. He said, “I support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of one nation, one election. Why hold elections every three or six months.” Mr Naidu and Mr Modi were allies then.
After breaking ties with the BJP, the Telugu Desam chief changed his stand. In a letter to the Law Commission, the TD said that it opposed simultaneous polls. The TD said that the Centre had taken up the exercise of holding simultaneous polls to destabilise regional parties. He said it was not correct to cite expenditure as a pretext for holding simultaneous elections.
When elections became due, Mr Naidu opted to hold the Assembly and general elections together in April last. He did not opt to advance the Assembly elections as Mr Rao had done
On Tuesday, Mr Naidu held a meeting with party MLAs and senior leaders to discuss whether or not to attend the meeting being held at Delhi on Wednesday. Finally, Mr Naidu decided to write a letter to Mr Modi on the issue of joint polls.
Jagan to pay for time, talk of defections
YSRC president and AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy who will attend the meeting is likely to Mr Modi that the issue has to be discussed in depth before taking a decision. He will instead stress on the importance of amending the anti-defection Act before taking a decision on holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together.
YSRC backs NDA speaker, TRS, TD still undecided
The YSR Congress has extended support to Rajasthan MP Om Birla as Lok Sabha Speaker as proposed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
YSRC MP Mithun Reddy signed on the papers proposing Mr Birla as Speaker on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Nar-endra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh and home minister Amit Shah proposed the candidature of Mr Birla. The TRS and the Telugu Desam have not taken a decision on this....